bending small brass tube

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bending small brass tube

Post by ashrond » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:01 pm

Hi all,
I purchased some small brass tubing (1.57mm) with the intention of bending it to fit around the front of a bussard collector. However the technique I planned to use did not work. Without buying any additional tools, does anyone have any advice for bending this tubing without kinking it?

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Post by Kylwell » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:19 pm

Heating it can help. Filling the tube with sand helps but I'm not sure how helpful that' be @ that size. I'd have to see if the spring style bender would work.
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Post by rallymodeller » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:31 pm

Here's a trick I saw on How It's Made: Fill the tube with a mixture of soap and water (block the ends). Freeze it. That should allow you to bend the tube without kinking -- you just have to use a jig of some sort. Seems to be used a lot in the making of brass instruments.

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Post by Beaveranger » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:21 pm

Would brass be too fragile for a brake line bender?

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Post by TER-OR » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:35 pm

Brass will be difficult, I think. You'll need to go slowly and use multiple passes around a rod of the proper diameter. Copper would be easier, so would aluminum.

Remember copper gets more brittle as it's bent, I'm not sure whether brass does the same thing.
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Post by kenlilly106 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:13 pm

Brass does work harden, it can be annealed by heating to red hot and allowing to cool.

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Post by TazMan2000 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:07 pm

Get solid styrene rod (Evergreen) in a diameter that justs fits into the brass tubing and bend away. However solid brass tubing will bend easier. Heating with either a soldering iron, or a small butane torch will make the job go smoother, but I wouldn't recomend doing that with the brass tubing and styrene rod as an insert.


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Post by ashrond » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:59 am

Thank you all for the suggestions, I tried the freezing method first, but the water never seemed to freeze, so I tried running some electrical wire through the pipe, it helped. I was able to bend the pipe enough with out kinking it noticeably, however I think I'm going to try another hobby shop and see if I can get my hands on a solid brass rod. It will be easier.
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Post by Chacal » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:19 am

Better than solid brass rod, particularly in cases when you need to bend it in a tight radius, would be solid copper wire. Just strip the insulation and straighten it (several methods available, from pull stretching to rolling between two wooden boards) and you have a bit of rod which is more malleable than brass. Not only that, but copper will react just like brass to gluing and soldering.
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